FFE Magazine

When did dogs become man’s best Friend?

by FFE Entertainment News staff

Earlier findings suggest that the close bond between man and dog began when domestication took place. It was believed that dogs were first domesticated in China about 13,000 years ago when agriculture developed in the area. However, a new study by Spanish scientists reveals that dogs were first domesticated far earlier than that, and closer to home.

Chief author Olaf Thalmann said ‘We have demonstrated with genetic evidence that the centre of the domestication of the dog was, without a doubt, Europe between 19,000 and 32,000 years ago.’

To trace the origin of the modern dog, scientists, including researchers from the Spanish government science body CSIC, tested the genetic makeup of the modern dog against fossils unearthed around the world. They concluded that modern dogs were closely related to Europe’s ancient wolves than to any other species in the world.

Spanish scientist Francesc López-Giráldez said ‘Our investigation refutes recent studies which suggest domestication is linked with agriculture, through dogs adapting to a diet rich in starch.’

‘Agriculture provoked major changes in domestication but out data shows that the process began much earlier.

‘Domestication is a long and continual process that is still happening, [not] a concrete event (that happened at a single moment).

‘What surprised us more than the European origin was the fact that dogs emerged in the context of hunter gatherer societies’, added Thalmann.

The study was published on Thursday in Nature.

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